BBQ Cauliflower and Sweet Potato Bowls with Smokey Ranch Dressing (Vegan GF)

These BBQ Cauliflower and Sweet Potato Bowls are warming, cosy, smokey and deliciously packed with vegetables, protein and wholegrains. Great for meal prep or a quick midweek meal, they’re vegan, gluten-free and nut-free.

If you just love buddha bowls, nourish bowls and soulful bowl meals, these roasted cauliflower and chickpea bowls are for you. They are packed with goodness and are easy to make in just a few steps. Full of colour, texture, flavour and crunch, we love these for a warming dinner or enjoyed cold for lunch the next day. You can also play around with the vegetables, using up whatever you have in the fridge.

A bowl of BBQ Cauliflower and Sweet Potato
BBQ Cauliflower and Sweet Potato Bowls

Why will I love these bowls?

These BBQ Cauliflower and Sweet Potato Bowls are fantastic for a few reasons:

  • Smokey, warming, cosy and packed with herbs
  • Wholesome and filling yet light and nourishing
  • Naturally vegan, gluten-free and high in protein
  • Easy to make in a few steps
  • Versatile and easy to adapt
  • Crunchy, smooth, creamy and tangy
  • Vibrant with a rainbow of ingredients
  • Good for gut health
  • Delicious warm or cold (great for meal prep!)

If you already love the look of these nourishing bowls, skip ahead to the recipe card below. Or, first let’s discuss the recipe in more detail.

What ingredients do I need?

The recipe is split into a few components: the roasted vegetables, the salad bowls, the dressing and the extras.

Let’s start with the roasted vegetable mix:

  • Sweet potatoes: cube these small into bite-size pieces so everything cooks evenly.
  • Cauliflower: cut off the florets from ½ regular-sized cauliflower to roasted until tender but save the leaves as these are great for making cauliflower leaf crisps.
  • Chickpeas: for protein and fibre and they turn deliciously crunchy after being baked. If you prefer, you can swap these for butter or cannellini beans or try pre-cooked green lentils.
  • Kale or cauliflower leaves: if you have forgotten to keep the cauliflower leaves (or don’t have any) use kale for some vegetable crisps on the side.
  • Herbs and spices: for this dish we use a mix of garlic granules, onion powder, dried oregano, smoked paprika, chilli/cayenne pepper, salt and pepper for the classic BBQ flavour.
  • Olive oil: for roasting.

As for the bowls:

  • Bulgur wheat or quinoa: I used a mix of half bulgur wheat and half quinoa, although to keep this gluten-free, use buckwheat instead of the bulgur wheat, use all quinoa or use some rice, too.
  • Cherry tomatoes: any small tomatoes are great.
  • Spring onion: also known as scallions, sliced thinly.
  • Lime: for juiciness, freshness and zing.
  • Vegan feta cheese: I love the salty tang on top of this salad. There are a few vegan feta cheeses which are really delicious, like the Violife one, and KindaCo have a new one, too.
  • Fresh herbs: these really perk up any savoury dish. I like to use mint, parsley, coriander or chive for these bowls.

For sprinkling on top:

  • Roasted nuts or seeds: any crunchy nut or seed on top is the best way to finish off these smokey bowls.
  • Pink pickles: great for gut health as they are fermented and they add a pop of colour on top. I use my easy recipe for homemade pickles here.
Smokey BBQ Ranch Dressing in a glass jar with a spoon
Smokey BBQ Ranch Dressing

Finally, the Smokey Ranch Dressing:

I will have a blog post coming with three amazing vegan dressings, and for now, here is what we need for this smokey creamy one:

  • Cashews: soak the cashew nuts overnight in cool water or for 1 hour in boiling water to soften them. Check tips below for making this nut-free.
  • Plant-based milk: use an unsweetened milk for this dressing like almond, coconut or soya.
  • Vegan BBQ sauce: most BBQ sauces are vegan but just check the labels.
  • Lemon juice: for tang.
  • Chopped chive: use fresh herbs to add some lightness to this ranch dressing,
  • Garlic and onion powders: for flavour.
  • Chilli, cayenne or chipotle powder: for a little bit of heat.
  • Salt and pepper: for flavour.

How do I make these nourish bowls?

These bowls have a few components to prepare:

  • Chop the vegetables, toss with the BBQ seasoning and roast: if using an air fryer, this takes 10-15 minutes, or is using an oven, can take up to 30 minutes.
  • Cook the grains and prepare all the salad parts: for the bowls.
  • Toss the kale or cauliflower leaves with the herbs: and roast for 10 minutes till crispy.
  • Make the dressing: blend together all the ingredients till smooth and creamy.
  • Plate up all the components and serve: topped with your desired toppings.

Are these gluten-free and nut-free?

Yes, these are naturally gluten-free, although do not use bulgur wheat; choose buckwheat, rice or use all quinoa instead. To keep these bowls nut-free, only use roasted seeds on top of the bowl and swap the cashew nuts in the ranch dressing for 70g of tahini or sunflower seed butter instead (no need for soaking anything, just blend together).

How long will these last?

Once plated up, serve these bowls the same day. Or you can keep all the components separately in the fridge for 2-3 days in sealed containers ready for lunchboxes and quicker dinners.

A fork spearing some cauliflower on the edge of a BBQ Cauliflower and Sweet Potato Bowl
BBQ Cauliflower and Sweet Potato Bowls

I love buddha bowls, what else can I make?

I hope you are going to love these BBQ Cauliflower and Sweet Potato Bowls and for more ideas, how about my:

A bowl of BBQ Cauliflower and Sweet Potato

BBQ Cauliflower and Sweet Potato Bowls with Smokey Ranch Dressing

Yield: 2-3
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

These BBQ Cauliflower and Sweet Potato Bowls are warming, cosy, smokey and deliciously packed with vegetables, protein and wholegrains. Great for meal prep or a quick midweek meal, they’re vegan, gluten-free and nut-free.


For the Smokey BBQ Ranch Dressing:

  • 70g cashews, soaked
  • 120ml unsweetened plant-based milk
  • 2 tbsp vegan BBQ sauce
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp freshly chopped chive
  • ½ tsp garlic granules
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • A pinch of cayenne, chilli or chipotle powder
  • Salt and pepper

For the BBQ Cauliflower and Sweet Potatoes:

  • 200g sweet potato, cubed (about 1 small potato)
  • 200g cauliflower florets (1/2 cauliflower)
  • 1 tin chickpeas, drained (240g) and patted dry
  • 4 leaves of kale or the cauliflower leaves
  • ½ tsp garlic granules
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ¼ tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • A pinch of cayenne/chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

For the Bowls:

  • 100g bulgur wheat, quinoa, buckwheat or rice
  • 200g cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • 2 spring onions, sliced
  • 1-2 limes, halved
  • 40g vegan feta cheese
  • Fresh herbs
  • 2-3 tbsp roasted nuts/seeds/legumes
  • 2-3 tbsp pink pickles


  1. Make the ranch dressing first: either cover the cashews with filtered water and allow to soak for 8 hours or overnight. Or cover them with boiling water and soak for 1 hour. Drain and rinse well. Add all of the ingredients to a blender and blend till really smooth.
  2. Preheat the air fryer or oven to 180*C/160Fan and line 2-3 trays with parchment paper. Add the sweet potato, cauliflower and patted chickpeas to a large bowl with the garlic granules, onion powder, oregano, smoked paprika, chilli powder, olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss well.
  3. Pour the vegetables onto the trays, it can be easier to keep the cauliflower on its own tray as it can cook more quickly. Bake/air fry the vegetables and chickpeas for 10-15 minutes, until really crispy and golden.
  4. Before cleaning out the mixing bowl, trim off the woody parts of the kale or cauliflower leaves and chop into bite-sized pieces. Add to this mixing bowl and toss well with your hands to massage the flavour and oil into the leaves. Onto another tray, lay out the leaves and bake/air fry for 10 minutes, or until crispy.
  5. Meanwhile, cook the grains according to packet instructions. Prepare all the other components for the bowls.
  6. To serve, divide the grains between two or three bowls. Top with the roasted sweet potatoes, cauliflower and chickpeas. Add on some tomatoes, spring onion, half of a lime, crumble over some feta cheese, fresh herbs, pink pickles and seeds. Drizzle over the Smokey BBQ Ranch Dressing. Serve with the kale/cauliflower leave crisps.
  7. Enjoy straight away or allow all the components to cool down and store in a sealed container (pre-made as meals in lunchboxes or separately) for 2-3 days in the fridge. Keep the dressing separately, add this before serving.

I look forward to hearing what you think of these BBQ Cauliflower and Sweet Potato Bowls with Smokey Ranch Dressing so please leave a comment below and a star rating above. If you do make these, I’d love to see them so please tag me, I’m @nourishing.amy on Instagram and use the hashtag #nourishingamy. I’m also on TwitterFacebook and Pinterest  – please say hello!

With BBQ cauli ranch love x

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